Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm not the only one who had a motorcycle accident

Last week the 91-year-old father of a friend of mine was out riding his Harley. (He's a tough old bird to be sure.) Sadly that day turned out to be one of those times where, when taking a curve, something went wrong and down he went on his motorcycle at speed.

There were, as you might imagine, multiple injuries from which he will spend some months recovering. The first thing that happened, however, was that 911 was called and an ambulance pulled up to the scene of the accident where the elderly biker was being held still and comforted by his son who was out riding with him.

Two paramedics jumped out and came up to the injured man and assessed his physical condition. That done they moved onto his mental condition.

"What year is it, sir?"

"It's 2014," he replied faintly.

"What month is it, sir?"

"It's... it's November."

"How many quarters are there in a dollar," they asked.

"Four," he replied.

"And who is president of the United States?"


Prognosis today for a full recovery? Excellent.

(shamelessly stolen from here)


Old NFO said...

Yep, he got em ALL right! Hope you're healing up too!

WoFat said...

A motorcycle shares glide characteristics with a foot-locker.

NotClauswitz said...

It's fine when you just slide but goes bad when you start to tumble. Hope your recovery is apace.

burt said...

2 thoughts:

- There are old riders and there are bold riders. But there are no old, bold riders.

- There are two kinds of riders: those who HAVE gone down, and those who WILL go down.

As long as you're healing, you'll be just fine. Keep a smile on: it'll eventually be spring again... and you know what that means, right? LOL!!!

Will said...

A common problem with older riders is a lack of knowledge about counter-steering. I've had conversations with guys who will flat contradict it, by saying that they have been riding for 30-40-50 years, and that bikes don't steer like that. Those riders are the ones that will say: "Well, I tried to go around the (object blocking the road), and just couldn't quite make it". What they did was steer right into the car, animal, rock, etc, when they tried to steer the bike like a car.
If you don't practice countersteering, you won't have that "muscle memory" stored for emergency situations.
A good part of the time you spend on a bicycle, while growing up, is while moving slow enough that the bike is in direct (car like) steering mode. Most people don't notice when they exceed the transition speed that reverses the steering response. The whole thing seems very counter-intuitive.

On a motorcycle, the most obvious example of the transition is near the conclusion of a u-turn. You are turning tight, the wheel is pointed to the left, and as you roll on the throttle while still leaned over, you will discover the bike starting to stand up. If you want to continue the turn to stay in a lane, you have to turn the wheel to the right to keep it leaned over until it is going straight in the lane. This is probably the most dramatic change in wheel direction on a motorcycle.

One of the reservations of people who are just learning about this is a concern that they will move the bars too quickly, and crash. This is only a valid concern if riding in very slippery conditions. Generally, the quicker you move those handlebars, the sooner the bike is going to start turning, which is important if you are trying to avoid that Buick that jumped in front of you.